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Oyster,

In fact, DCAA did have a major turn-around in 2009, with a new Director being transferred in from US Army Audit Agency. Since then, the agency has implemented significant changes in its audit approach and multiple levels of management review.

The results of those initiatives have yet to be seen. The IG report you cite discusses audit reports issued in GFY 2010. What we do know is that DCAA's productivity (as measured by its own stats) has dropped by roughly 75 - 80%. It now takes significantly longer for DCAA to perform its work and to issue its reports, and its reports take significantly more audit hours to be produced.

So we know that DCAA has made the decision to trade timeliness for quality. What we don't know is whether or not they have achieved their quality goals. In GFY 2013, the agency is supposed to be "peer reviewed" and the results of that review ought to be a good indication as to whether or not the quality goals have been met. However, sequestration may have an impact on funding for that review...

(Actually I'm being very, very nice to DCAA in this post. I DO know how the audit agency is doing with respect to meeting GAGAS and quality standards. But my opinion is worthless to you, since I can't provide any evidence to support my assertions.)

If you are interested, one indicator I would consider monitoring is the caseload at ASBCA and Court of Federal Claims regarding disputed DCAA audit findings. My belief is that it's on the upswing, with the Government losing more than its fair share of the litigation. That ought to tell somebody something about both DCAA audit quality and the quality of the Contracting Officer's Final Decisions. But again, by the time a Court renders a decision, the matter is already several years old, so it doesn't tell anybody much about the way things are today.

If you want to better understand DCAA's audit quality challenges, check out what the IG said about inexperienced staff and inadequate supervision.

Hope this helps.

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Oyster - If you are wondering how knowledgeable the auditor is on what they have given you, give them a call and ask about the findings. What I've found in many recent audit reports issued is that DCAA is summarizing at a very top level with the blanket statement that copies of their work are available upon request for more specific information. Not that this is a bad thing, it can be very lengthy, but it seems to be hiding the true results of their work. Put in a call, ask them about their analysis they performed, you'll be very surprised at what you hear. I'm not sure DCAA is in that much of an upswing at the moment.

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